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Fake news site claims ‘insider’ told them Hontiveros is defending Kadamay members selling housing rights

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The militant group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) became quite controversial when they occupied the housing units in Pandi, Bulacan on March 8. The units were initially promised to police and military personnel. However, President Rodrigo Duterte ended up giving those units away to Kadamay.

“I will ask you soldiers and policemen, bitawan ‘nyo na lang ‘yan, ibigay na lang natin sa kanila kasi mahirap sila,” Duterte said on April 4 during the Philippine Army’s anniversary.

President Duterte also told Kadamay not to touch the soldiers and police if they don’t want to risk getting kicked out.

Just a few days ago, articles surfaced on Facebook claiming that some Kadamay members are selling their housing rights. The story came from Okd2.com, which the website claimed to have come from “a Facebook user and resident of Bustos, Bulacan” who wanted to conceal his identity.

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Kadamay members selling housing
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Kadamay members selling housing
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Okd2 said that their source told them how some of his neighbors in Bustos are planning on occupying around 50 unoccupied housing units in Pandi and sell them to people from Metro Manila for P15,000 to P25,000 with the help of a Kadamay organizer. The source added that he heard one of his neighbors boasting about selling three housing units for P60,000 last month to non-Kadamay members from Navotas and that he knew a family of Kadamay members who occupied four units and sold two to latecomers also in April.

Okd2 even posted what appeared to be a screenshot of a message sent to them by a source, claiming the same thing about the Kadamay members and even calling them “professional squatters.”

Kadamay members selling housing

As of writing, we could not confirm Kadamay’s story.

But they followed it up with another story involving Senator Risa Hontiveros, who allegedly said to let the Kadamay members be because they now own the units anyway after getting permission from President Duterte himself. This time, Okd2 claims that they heard about this reaction from the lady senator from an “insider.”

Hontiveros was quoted saying in the Okd2 article, “Ibinigay na ni Presidente sa kanila yan, bahala sila kung ano ang gawin nila. Kanila na yan.”

This statement allegedly surprised the senator’s staff, even leading six of them to file a half day leave of absence on May 19.

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Okd2 also noted how Hontiveros “consistently supports” leftist groups like Kadamay and how she allegedly visited the Kadamay in Pandi, Bulacan.

However, Okd2 is once again making claims that we could not verify. It seems like it is the only website carrying these stories since May 20 about Kadamay selling their housing rights and Senator Hontiveros defending them or even visiting them in Pandi.

While Hontiveros is indeed a member of the activist group Akbayan, we found out that Akabayan has ideological differences with Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), to which Kadamay is affiliated with.

According to former CHR chairwoman Loretta Ann Rosales, the occupation of the housing units by Kadamay was used as a “pressure tactic” for the rebels to gain an upperhand in the ongoing peace talks with the Philippine government.

“(After) housing occupation, mamaya land occupation na ang mangyayari dyan. It’s not far-fetched. Kabahagi yan nung pressures that are being given on the ground for the peace process,” Rosales told ABS-CBN News.

However, Kadamay leader Gloria Arellano denied Rosales’ claims, saying that it was just a coincidence that the poor Filipinos no longer have houses they can call their own.

“Nagkataon na lang yan. Dumating na lang po talaga sap unto na ang mga maralita ay ang dami nang walang tahanan,” Arellano said.

Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes also denied Rosales’ insinuations about the National Democractic Front using the poor for the peace talks.

While Rosales conceded to how the poor also need a chance to have their own home, with rights also come responsibilities.

“Theoretically dapat lang naman talaga kasi yung mga mahihirap mas mabigyan ng pagkakataon para so that they can have their own homes. But rights also have responsibilities,” Rosales said.

Okd2.com claimed to have obtained their story from anonymous tipsters and an insider, but these are still all unconfirmed right now. We do have every reason to doubt Okd2’s claims because of the long list of fake stories they have published on their site, such as PNoy, Roxas, and Soliman facing graft charges in an international court, fans snubbing Jim Paredes’ concert, Hontiveros wanting to raise the senor citizen age requirement to 65, VP vote recount being scheduled on May 27, and more.

Sources: ( rappler.com , news.abs-cbn.com )

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Netizens slam Duterte for saying women ‘could not stand threats and intimidation’

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President Rodrigo Duterte drew flak for another controversial comment involving women after he remarked on May 24 that women “could not stand threats and intimidation.”

Duterte said that while he believed in women’s competence, it does not necessarily ring true in all aspects of life.

“I believe in the woman, the competence and capability, pero hindi lahat sa buhay dapat.Hindi ka, hindi, hindi. Dapat lang. It’s not appropriate when you cannot stand threats and intimidation,” he said in his May 24 speech.

He also said that women should be “prim and proper” and talked about his reservation in sending women police and soldiers to the field because unlike men, they did not grow up with a mindset that involves violence.

“Ang mga babae, sundalo pati pulis, ayaw ko ‘yan sa bukid. Unlike men kami, maliit pa lang, suntukan, bakbakan, barilan. And we grew up with a sort of a mindset na sometimes prone to violence. Itong mga babae, prim and proper man ‘yan, isang tingin lang sa nanay niyan, wala na tunaw na ‘yan. Tapos gawin mong pulis, ipaaway mo doon. Naku,” Duterte remarked.

Netizens then took to social media to react to Duterte’s most recent statements, making #BabaeAko trend again on Twitter.

“Mr. President, you just horrifyingly disrespected your own mother who bravely fought against the Marcos dictatorship. She withstood threats and intimidation. Siya ay babae! #BabaeAko,” a Twitter user remarked.

Forensic expert Dr. Raquel Fortun spoke out, too, saying “I am threatened and intimidated a lot. All my life. Don’t me. #BabaeAko.”

So did film and theater actress Chai Fonacier, who said, “Encouraging women — and I mean including those who identify as women — and our friends from the entire spectrum to share your #BabaeAko statements to fight the misogyny that the President and his ilk normalize through their behavior. Make them remember the feminine strength.”

KABATAAN Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago also reacted, saying she refused to be stereotyped.

Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay urged other Filipinos to protest against Duterte’s misogynistic statements.

Other Twitter users weighed in on the issue.

Duterte’s previous misogynistic remarks

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His remarks in his speech on May 24 seemed to have sought to explain another controversial remark he made on May 16 when he said that he did not want a politician, especially a woman, to become the next Ombudsman.

“Mag-nominate sila, pero I choose, but gusto ko ‘yung bilib ang tao sa integrity niya. Of course it could not be a politician, lalo na hindi babae,” he said during a chance interview.

This gave birth to the launching of the #BabaeAko movement on social media on May 21 by women activists and other people who also want to protest Duterte’s misogynistic and sexist statements.

One of  the women who joined the #BabaeAko campaign was former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo who said, “Akala ko taumbayan ang boss ni Duterte. Yun pala sina Marcos, Gloria, Trump at China. Para sa bayang makatarungan at malaya, lalaban ako.”

In February, he was also slammed for telling his audience of former NPA rebels that he told his soldiers to shoot female rebels in the vagina.

Sources: ( rappler.comphilstar.com )

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New DOT chief to ask Montano why he rushed official New York engagement to watch Broadway show

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Newly installed Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said she plans on talking with Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) COO Cesar Montano to ask for his side on certain accusations that were hurled against him.

Among these accusations came from an Abante report where Montano was said to have rushed a speaking engagement staged by the DOT in New York to watch the Broadway musical show “Hamilton.”

DOT reportedly launched the Philippine Tourism Presentation and Dinner Reception on May 9 to showcase Philippine tourism and fashion at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. Montano was introduced as the event’s keynote speaker, but he was said to have only spoken for a bit before hurriedly leaving the venue, disappointing the guests, which also included US officials.

Montano was said to have been invited to the event in behalf of the now-resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo. He was also named as one of the two hosts, the other being Teo, of the said event.

In reaction to this report about Montano, Puyat said she would talk to Montano as well as the Tourism attache and other DOT officials who attended the event to verify the accusation in the report mentioned above.

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Puyat said that she would investigate into the “Buhay Carinderia” program that the TPB is set to implement. This was after Philippine Star Boo Chanco accused Montano of issuing P80-million worth of three checks to the event proponent and organizer.

“I still don’t have the papers. I will be asking [and] will be arranging a meeting with Mr. Cesar Montano to ask about ‘yung mga nabasa ko sa ‘Buhay Carinderia’ – kung totoo ba na walang bidding ‘yung P80 million na advance,” Puyat said on May 15.

“I’m planning to talk to him and ask his side. I want to ask all those who were there if it actually happened,” Puyat added.

In March 2017, TPB employees filed a complaint against Montano for his alleged corruption and mismanagement of the agency. These include hiring friends and relatives, using TPB’s funds for personal trips, and showing incompetence in fulfilling his obligations as the agency’s COO.

Sources: ( tnt.abante.com.phphilstar.comrappler.com )

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Eldest Tulfo vows to help Wanda clear her name, berates ‘black sheep’ Ben over controversial P60-M DOT ad deal

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Inquirer columnist Ramon Tulfo spoke up about the controversy involving his siblings, now resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo and hosts Ben and Erwin Tulfo, over the P60 million tourism ad deal.

The eldest Tulfo wrote in his Inquirer column on May 10 that while President Rodrigo Duterte himself advised the Tulfo family to avoid talking to the media, he took it upon himself as the family’s acting patriarch to tell the story behind the controversy.

First up, Ramon blamed Teo for not hiring smart staff members who could have advised her against inking a deal with PTV 4, where one of the Tulfo brothers, Ben, was a blocktimer.

As a blocktimer, Ben pays for his TV show’s airtime on the state-run channel.

According to Ramon, Wanda was only complying with President Duterte’s injunction for his Cabinet secretaries to support PTV 4, adding that she did not know Ben’s company would get most of the multimillion advertising contract with DOT.

He also hit Ben, whom he called a “black sheep” with a “middle child” syndrome as the fifth child out of 10 siblings, for signing the P60-million advertising contract with PTV 4 despite knowing that there would be a conflict of interest on Wanda’s part.

Ramon also said that Wanda still tried to save Ben, who insisted on his innocence amid the controversy, leading her to resign from her post. He also explained that Wanda seemed to have forgotten the fact that her husband was on the board of director of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza), a part of DOT, when Duterte appointed her as tourism chief. He added that it should have been up to her husband to step down from his post upon his wife’s appointment.

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In the same column, he also slammed Wanda’s lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, whom he said did not even consult the Tulfo brothers on returning the P60-million funds from the ad deal. He also described the lawyer as “all talk,” a counsel who’s only focused on gaining publicity for himself.

Unlike what has been previously reported about Wanda resigning out of delicadeza amid the controversy, Ramon let it slip that he commended President Duterte for “sacking Wanda,” prompting some people to ask whether Wanda was fired instead of resigned.

Before he ended his column, he vowed to support “Wanda’s fight to clear her name, but not Ben’s.”
Wanda resigned on May 8 to show delicadeza and to spare everyone, especially Duterte, from the pain caused by the controversy, according to her lawyer.

The issue started with the Commission on Audit’s report showing the DOT paying P60 million worth of commercials to PTV 4, which in turn, tapped Ben’s Bitag Media Unlimited Inc. to air the tourism ads during Ben and Erwin’s show “Kilos Pronto.”

Malacañang said that Teo’s resignation does not mean that she is off the hook since the Ombudsman is still looking into her and other government officials involved in the controversial ad deal.

Sources: ( inquirer.netnews.abs-cbn.com , nnphilippines.com )

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